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Cara Selected to Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers Fund

$500,000 Investment in core operating support will enable Cara to expand its reach to opportunity youth.

The Citi Foundation announced that Cara was selected as the recipient of a $500,000 grant as part of the 2018 Community Progress Makers Fund. The Fund is a $20 million, two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high-impact community organizations that are driving economic opportunities in our communities by bringing together residents, nonprofits, businesses, and municipal agencies. Cara joins a group of 40 change agents who are playing a key role in coordinating the efforts of multiple partners toward common goals and working in new ways to address urban challenges in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington D.C.

“We launched this program in 2015 as our version of ‘venture philanthropy’ – a chance to invest in the vision and mission of these organizations who are helping positively transform their communities,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “We’re pleased with the results from our inaugural Community Progress Makers and are looking forward to implementing the lessons we’ve learned with this next, impressive group of community leaders as they scale, innovate and drive impact.”

Through the fund, Cara plans to expand its reach, with targeted efforts to engage opportunity youth (particularly our most vulnerable), so they are not destined to live out a lifetime of poverty. This will be accomplished through leveraging its existing infrastructure and developing youth-informed programming co-located with existing partners to build socio-emotional skills, workplace competencies, and stronger self-actualization, slowly culminating in gainful employment.

“We think of Cara as bootcamps and businesses that ready people affected by homelessness and poverty to sustainably re-enter the workforce. Focusing on socio-emotional skills and workforce competencies, we are unlocking new talent for entry-level positions in the private sector – folks who will stick and stay on their jobs (at retention rates over twenty points higher than national norms), as the first step towards long-term self-sufficiency,” said Maria Kim, President and CEO of Cara. “With support from the Community Progress Makers Fund, we are taking this established model and expanding our reach to more opportunity youth, so that we disrupt the cycle of poverty and start their new beginnings today.”

In 2016-2017, the inaugural cohort of Community Progress Makers helped more than 14,700 low-income people secure financial assets; built over 10,500 affordable housing units; strengthened more than 1,100 small businesses; and connected 1,800 young people to jobs in their communities.

Below is a full list of 2018 Community Progress Makers:

Chicago Commons
Elevate Energy
Greater Southwest Development Corporation
North Lawndale Employment Network

Los Angeles
East LA Community Corporation
Homeboy Industries
Koreatown Youth & Community Center
LISC Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Los Angeles LGBT Center
United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Catalyst Miami
Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF)
The Miami Foundation
United Way of Miami-Dade
Urban League of Broward County

New York City
Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
Green City Force
Hot Bread Kitchen
Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)
Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners
Start Small Think Big
The HOPE Program
The POINT Community Development Corporation

San Francisco Bay Area
Enterprise Community Partners Northern CA
Jewish Vocational Service
Main Street Launch
Pacific Community Ventures
San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC)
Social Finance

Washington, D.C.
Building Bridges Across the River
Byte Back
Latino Economic Development Center-LEDC
Mary’s Center

About Cara
Cara’s mission is to unlock the power and purpose within our communities and ourselves to achieve real and lasting success. Through its professional and personal skills training and access to employment opportunities, Cara serves as a leader in poverty alleviation in Chicago and beyond. Since 1991, more than 6,000 people have been placed into more than 9,200 quality jobs and started on their path to self-sufficiency.

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.